Transport for London (TfL) has extended its current panel by two years with a plan to re-tender in 2018, Legal Business understands.
The four-year panel was due to end in October this year, however law firm partners have not been asked to re-tender for a place on a new roster.
A TfL spokesperson said: ‘The initial term of the panel ends in October 2016. There is scope for extension, which we may utilise.’
TfL director of legal Andrea Clarke and general counsel Howard Carter (pictured) last reviewed the panel in 2012 and appointed 11 firms, with Dentons, Trowers & Hamlins and Lewis Silkin new additions to a roster which also includes Berwin Leighton Paisner, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, K&L Gates and Gowling WLG. The firms on the panel also advise the greater London authority, which was brought under the remit of TfL.
Prior to the review in 2012, TfL last renewed its panel in 2007, when Eversheds was appointed to handle its primary operational work. The 200-strong legal team comprises 90 lawyers and handles TfL’s core commercial work for operations and capital that gets invested into the Underground as well as diverting legal resource towards the office of the Mayor of London, the British Transport Police, the London Legacy Development Corporation – which managed real estate deals for the 2012 Olympics – and handling issues over development and regeneration work for the London Transport Museum.
Ongoing issues for the organisation include the high-profile London Underground strikes organised by employees over pay, safety, pensions and job security. TfL has also proposed a major regulatory crackdown on taxi app Uber, with a compulsory wait rule.
In other recent panel news, Network Rail has extended its panel until 2019, while The Crown Estate is to launch a review of its external legal adviser panel following the departure of general counsel (GC) Vivienne King who has been replaced by former deputy Rob Booth.